NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

New Survey Sheds Light on Digital Priorities of Health System Leaders

New Survey Sheds Light on Digital Priorities of Health System LeadersWhen it comes to health care technology investments next year, health systems are more likely to invest in proven solutions that will have an immediate impact.

For instance, nine out of 10 health systems say they will boost spending on cybersecurity technology that will help identify threats in 2018, while they are proceeding more cautiously on widely hyped artificial intelligence technologies and consumer-focused devices such as wearables.

 Those are among the findings of a new survey covering more than 20 major U.S. health systems and conducted by the Pittsburgh-based Center for Connected Medicine (CCM), in partnership with the Health Management Academy. The CCM is jointly operated by UPMC and four corporate partners.

 Titled “Top of Mind for Top U.S. Health Systems 2018,” the report, which was released today, provides insights into how health care leaders are prioritizing emerging health IT trends in the coming year. Based on quantitative and qualitative surveys of executives at leading hospitals and health systems across the country, the report focuses on the five areas identified as priorities:  cybersecurity, consumer-facing technology, predictive analytics, virtual care and artificial intelligence.

“We are attacking some of the biggest challenges in health care with solutions that harness the power of digital technology, and a mindset that challenges the status quo,” said Dr. Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer at UPMC and executive vice president at UPMC Enterprises.

“We value additional insights into how health systems view key challenges and promising innovations so we are able to collectively lift each other’s boats and push the boundaries of innovation,” added  Shrestha, who represents UPMC on the CCM’s executive steering committee.

Download a copy of the report and view related content at

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MWRI and Carnegie Science Center Break Barriers for Local Girls Interested in Science

MWRI and Carnegie Science Center Break Barriers for Local Girls Interested in ScienceMagee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) partnered with the Carnegie Science Center as host for a “Tour Your Future” event, where girls from across the region met female professionals who work in fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Last week, 11 girls, ages 13 to 15, discovered cutting-edge research being done in women’s reproductive health, including how worms might be the key to fertility. They also participated in hands-on exercises, including using 3-D printed models.

“I always knew these organs were in my body, but I never knew how they specifically worked,” said 15-year-old participant Ann Kozak.

The field trip was an effort to spark the girls’ interest in science-related fields, specifically reproductive health. Female scientists emphasized the importance of women helping other women by researching and developing drugs that cure fatal illnesses. During a presentation on HIV, Dr. Sharon Hillier, director of reproductive infectious disease research, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, and primary investigator, MWRI, shared how MWRI’s HIV prevention research benefits women around the world.

“Women and girls belong in STEM,” said Michael Annichine, chief executive officer of MWRI. “We were excited to be able to offer an opportunity designed to inspire and encourage young women in pursuing the field of science and, in particular, women’s health.”

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UPMC Cooks Up Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors Living Alone

Hundreds of home-bound seniors across Pittsburgh recently received a tasty surprise delivery to their doorstep, just in time for the holidays. Earlier this week, UPMC employees, University of Pittsburgh students and many volunteers prepared and delivered more than 200 Thanksgiving meals to older adults who will spend the holidays alone.

The effort, coordinated by Giving it Forward Together (GIFT) Pittsburgh and funded by the UPMC Center for Engagement & Inclusion, donated “Thanksgiving to GO” meal kits filled with delicious holiday food and thoughtful gifts.

Volunteers added a personal touch by personally delivering the meals and spending time with the seniors. More than 50 older adults in the UPMC Living-at-Home Program/Staying-At-Home Program received these special deliveries, making their holiday much brighter.

“Delivering these meals was truly a humbling experience,” said Missy Sovak, director of UPMC Living-at-Home Program/Staying-At-Home Program. “Each client had a personal history, and to receive the gift of a homemade meal meant a great deal to them.”

“Thanksgiving to GO” was started by GIFT Pittsburgh so seniors who are no longer able to spend the holidays with family can still eat a Thanksgiving meal and feel a sense of joy and blessing. This program reinforces the UPMC Living-at-Home Program/Staying-At-Home Program’s efforts to care for older adults.

Each senior appreciated the dinner and everything the program does, and it brought the volunteers joy to give back to those who need it most.

“I was speechless when I got back to the car each time, reflecting on how much this program truly means to each individual client,” said Sovak.

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UPMC Surgeon Brings Foot Care to Underserved Adults

UPMC Surgeon Brings Foot Care to Underserved AdultsIn time for the holidays, underprivileged adults in Pittsburgh received free foot screenings and proper fitting shoes, thanks to UPMC orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Conti, his family and fellow foot-care professionals.

During the annual Our Hearts Your Soles event, Conti and a team of UPMC foot-care specialists provided foot exams and, based on medical recommendations, University of Pittsburgh prosthetic and orthotic student volunteers fitted participants for shoes. Conti partnered with Catholic Charities to host the event, and more than 400 pairs of shoes were donated from Red Wing Shoe Company and Superfeet.

“Ill-fitting and disrepair shoes can lead to many foot problems with the poor, especially those who live outside during the Pittsburgh winter,” Conti said. “The volunteers and I are privileged to be able to serve these individuals each year through our charity.”

The annual event, which is in its 12th year, was founded by Matthew Conti with the help of his father in the hope to fill the gap in services provided to the homeless population. Since then it’s become a national occasion, taking place across more than 20 cities this year.

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UPMC Hosts International Consensus Meeting to Address Complex Ankle Injuries

Global leaders in the field of orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery recently gathered in Pittsburgh for the International Consensus Meeting on Cartilage Repair of the Ankle.

The first-of-its-kind meeting was the result of a year-long collaboration among national and international experts to develop a consensus on key focus areas like the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for common and complex injuries to the ankle.

“In over 60 percent of ankle sprains, there is an associated injury, whether it be small or large, to the surrounding cartilage of the ankle,” said Dr. Macalus V. Hogan, vice chairman of education and division chief of foot and ankle surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgey at UPMC. “Our goal is to reach consensus with these thought and evidence-driven leaders so we can ultimately improve patient care.”

The meeting included over 100 orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists, radiologists and scientists from 26 countries.

Christopher Murawski, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh, became interested in orthopedics after suffering injuries as a high school baseball player. He said conferences like these help move research and treatment options forward.

“We have been meeting as a group since 2012, and the first time there was a lot of disagreement,” he said. We now have a very unique opportunity to bring a group of experts together from around the world and discuss a problem where not a lot of clinical evidence exists.”

For more information about orthopaedic care at UPMC, click here.

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